Since becoming First Lady of the United States in 2008, Michelle Obama has been a force in promoting healthy eating for children nationwide.
Despite being out of office for over 7 years, the endeavor has continued as it was recently announced that she is a co-founder and strategic partner of PLEZi Nutrition.
plezi.com/”>PLEZi Nutrition is a company that makes and sells healthier food and drink options for children. Specifically, the products will have lower sugar and higher nutrient content, subsequently becoming less detrimental to their long-term health.
According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 20% of children in the United States are facing obesity. Hispanic and Black children are most privy to obesity prevalence at 26.2% and 24.8%, respectively.
Sugar is the number one culprit for that reality. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar per day, mostly due to added sugars in processed and ready-to-eat foods.
PLEZi Nutrition seeks to address this issue head-on.
In her own words, Obama describes PLEZi Nutrition as “a company designed not just to provide better products, but to jump-start what I hope will be a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry.”
Despite being a co-founder, she will not be the face of the PLEZi Nutrition brand.
Instead, as a strategic partner, Obama will be working behind the scenes on its educational and philanthropic efforts to guide the company’s mission to be a driver of change and a model for how food and beverage brands can support the health of the younger generations.
“I’ve learned that if you want to change the game on this issue, you can’t just rally from the outside,” said Obama. “You’ve got to get inside. You’ve got to find ways to change the food and beverage industry itself.”
The company’s first product is a fruit juice called PLEZi for children ages 6 and up. It will have about 75% less sugar than most top fruit juice brands, and consist of more fiber, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
The drink currently comes in four flavors — Tropical Punch, Orange Smash, Sour Apple, and Blueberry Blast — and will be sold at various retailers.
“With PLEZi Nutrition, we want to drive the kind of positive change I’ve always hoped to see. We want to set higher standards for how we make and market food and beverages for our kids,” said Obama.
As First Lady, Obama introduced an initiative called, “Let’s Move,” which was specifically used to improve the health of children in the U.S. by encouraging them to engage in physical activity and eat healthier food.
That effort expanded to improve federal nutrition standards for school lunches and extract commitments from food companies and restaurant chains to cut calories, salt, sugar and trans fats in their meals.
“It’s going to take all of us — business, government, advocates, doctors, parents — doing our part to raise a healthier generation of kids. That’s what this is all about,” said Obama.
This newest endeavor further drives her mission.
In addition to the launch of PLEZi Nutrition, Obama also announced that the company is donating $1 million to a FoodCorps initiative working to help the approximately 50 million students in the nation receive information about nutrition and free school meals by 2030.
PLEZi Nutrition will also contribute 10% of its profits to the broader effort to improve child nutrition.